A bill that is ready to go to the full body of the Texas House of Representatives could make it much easier for women to get a 3-D mammogram.


House Bill 1036 updates the legal definition of a mammogram to include digital breast tomosynthesis, which is also known as 3-D mammography.


Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, said the bill was voted out of the House’s Insurance Committee this week. The bill was introduced by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, a breast cancer survivor.


Phillips said HB 1036 establishes that “a mammogram is a mammogram.” It will leave the decision about what exam to do up to the patients and their doctors.


Phillips said the committee heard from a number of people who said earlier detection allowed their breast cancer to be caught and cured earlier.


He said the only drawback that he could see is that the newer exams are likely to cost insurance companies more money. However, he said, as women are able to be diagnosed earlier, the costs for treating their cancers will be less expensive, thus actually saving insurance companies money in the long run.


It will also save women, Phillips said, a lot of worry. He said witnesses testified that the new tests cause women to have fewer instances where they have to come back in after a scan shows something that health care providers can’t diagnose.


None of the mammography centers in Grayson County offer the new 3-D machines. However, they are available at Baylor Women’s Imaging Center in McKinney and at Solis Mammography at Medical Center of McKinney.